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The year is 3077. Ohio State is still the favorite to win the Big Ten for the upcoming season.
It's the Buckeyes and everyone else again for the 2020 season, but make no mistake: The Big Ten will be competitive even though the conference lacks a handful of true national title contenders.
So, which program has the best chance to give the Big Ten a new conference champ for the first time since 2016? Let's look at the big picture.
I have no clue what to make of the upcoming season for Jim Harbaugh and Co. The Wolverines always seem to have one of two teams: It's either the year, or it's a transition year. And oddly enough, Michigan typically performs better when there isn't any pressure. There shouldn't be any on a team that'll be one of the least experienced in the country, but this is Michigan. And that means you can expect the Wolverines to head into Columbus in 2020 with a loss or two on their record, and head out with another.
Great price here on a coach who's won at least 11 games in three of the last four seasons at Penn State. James Franklin's Nittany Lions are my first buy team, and there's a lot to like about them this year. For starters, they have the second-easiest schedule in the Big Ten, which includes home games against Iowa and Ohio State. The roster is stacked, with more than half the offense from last season back, and returns a good chunk of the defense as well.
Are we still treating Iowa as a national blue blood? The Hawkeyes are a model of consistency, but they haven't sniffed national relevance in a while - they've only had two seasons with double-digit wins over the last decade under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa plays the sixth-toughest schedule in the country and brings back less than half its starters from last season on both offense and defense. I can't fade Iowa enough this season.
I truly think we were a year too early on Nebraska. Everyone loved the Cornhuskers last season as a dark horse, only to watch the program whiff on a bowl bid. Nobody seems to be back on the bandwagon for 2020, but I wouldn't mind jumping on board.
The schedule could stand to be a bit lighter - Nebraska plays the fifth-toughest one in the nation, with trips to Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa. But I'm especially keen on the roster, which returns the second-most production on offense in the country. Score points, Big Red.
This might be the worst price of the field, and I like it more than the first two buys. Stopping Minnesota next season is going to be a problem. The Golden Gophers return a quarterback who threw for more than 3,200 yards with 30 touchdowns (Tanner Morgan), a multi-year starter in the backfield (Mohamed Ibrahim), and a pair of receivers who combined for 1,500-plus yards and 16 touchdown receptions in 2019 (Rashod Bateman, Chris Autman-Bell). Minnesota has the easiest schedule in the conference, and I don't think last season's performance was a fluke.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.